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Your Offer Isn’t Specific Enough

Sometimes, your brain and your human intuition are your worst enemies. Too many mistakes are made because something seems right, but turns out to be wrong.

And unfortunately, the very site you’re looking at right now is an example of what not to do…

Watch today’s video to see what this big mistake is and how to avoid it:


Links

Leave a comment below and tell me what the core message and purpose of your business is. I’ll probably tell you that – guess what – it isn’t specific enough, but I’ll also offer some advice on how to improve it. :)

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Shane
 

I'm Shane Melaugh and I'm the guy writing most of the posts on this blog. My goal is to provide you with useful, straight-forward insights on how to grow your business by creating compelling offers, driving traffic and increasing conversions.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 84 comments
Davide - May 18, 2014

Hi Shane,

Great video as usual! I take on your invitation… my partners and I create and sell health supplements. The supplements have very high quality, they are special because they are based on a new science (metabolomics). We call them metabolomic supplements. It is difficult for people to understand them because they are not single vitamins, but multi-vitamins, multi-minerals and multi-aminoacids because everything is based on a systemic approach to give the body what it needs to work properly.

That’s the specification on the product, the specification on the audience is, as you are saying, a bit broad. We aim to all the people that they want to improve their health…

There are doctors already prescribing our supplements and with a prescription it is easy for customers to buy them, but if a potential customers find us online we have not been able to convert them properly.

I would post our websites for a feedback but I do not know if I can do so in your blog.

Any advice?

Reply
    Shane - May 18, 2014

    I take it that you sell multiple different supplements with different purposes. Correct me if I’m wrong about.

    In this case, since you don’t aim to solve one specific health issue, the most important question is: what advantages do you supplements have over other non-metabolomic ones? Can you explain in simple words why I should care about metabolomics?

    Reply
      Davide - May 18, 2014

      Yes Shane, you are right, we have about 10 different supplements.

      To answer your question: modern food is poor of micronutrients and it is important nowadays to integrate your body with the micronutrients it needs to work properly. People take supplements but there is a lot of crap out there and people usually follow trends, one year it looks like one vitamin is the magic pill and the following year another one. They do not really know what their body needs.

      Metabolomics is a modern science that allows to exactly understand what your body lacks. After more than 10000 metabolomic exams it’s been seen that people are deficient in the same micronutrients (vitamins, mineral salts and amino acids) because they way we eat is similar.
      Therefore with these data we have created our metabolomic supplements to integrate exactly what the people need, in the right quantities and with the right balance.

      Reply
      Shane - May 19, 2014

      Okay, I see. In this case, the strategy I would pursue is one of a core message plus specific landing pages. The core message would be something about how these supplements are the missing puzzle piece in today’s nutrition.

      Then, I’d create different landing pages to appeal to very specific audiences. For example, the right metabolomic supplements for: athletes, growing teens, seniors, vegans, vegetarians, paleo, pregnant women, breastfeeding moms etc.
      These are just some potential examples off the top of my head. Whatever groups you have specific data and specific nutrition recommendations for. The important point is that I would avoid having one main page where I list off all the groups this is good for and instead I’d have a separate landing page dedicated to each individual group.

      Reply
Dominic - May 18, 2014

Core message – headshots. For people wanting head shots, not just actors.

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    Shane - May 18, 2014

    Okay, that’s a nice and specific focus. Except the “not just actors” part. It would be better to offer headshots for actors and then go “hey, wanna get actor-style quality headshots, even though you’re not an actor? We have a special package for that!”

    I’d also like to know more about the headshots. Why should I get them from you?

    Can you make a phrase that goes “Headshots that…”? I.e. attach some kind of a result or emotion to what you’re offering?

    Reply
Jim Anderson - May 18, 2014

I help homeowners create landscapes that evoke nature and attract wildlife using Japanese garden principles and native plants.

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    Shane - May 18, 2014

    That sentence is not easy to process. :)

    “Evoke nature” sounds nice, but what does it really mean? Also, you have the association that basically says “landscapes for homeowners”, but is that just a roundabout way of saying “garden” or is there more to it?

    “Japanese garden principles” sounds interesting, but what does it do for me? How is a garden done in the Japanese style better from a non-Japanese one? Perhaps more importantly: how will my garden be better than my neighbor’s?

    Reply
      Jim Anderson - May 19, 2014

      Thanks for the feedback.

      Yes that damn word “garden” unfortunately means growing tomatoes to most people.

      You are right I need to find a better word then “evoke”.

      Reply
      Shane - May 19, 2014

      That’s a good point about the tomatoes. A go-to method for a case like this is interviewing existing clients and potential clients. My goal would be to learn how they think and talk about their garden/landscape, to find out if there are words and phrases I can use that will better resonate with them.

      Reply
    Vic - May 19, 2014

    Hey Jim,

    Please consider: We use Japanese design concepts and native plants to create relaxing landscapes that inspire, renew and rejevenate.

    keywords: Japanese design concepts, native plants, relaxing landscapes, inspire, renew, rejuvenate.

    Just an idea.

    Reply
      Jim - May 20, 2014

      I like it Vic. In fact I had something VERY close to that as a possible tagline. I think my final may end up being pretty close to what you wrote.

      Reply
Mark - May 18, 2014

Great stuff brother. My business is Local business lead generation. “Top local lead generation”

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    Shane - May 18, 2014

    I’d suggest one of two things:

    A) Target the audience more specifically (“Most qualified leads for [City] real estate brokers!”).

    B) Be more specific about the quality of the leads. Anyone can claim “top”. Back up the claim with something specific. That could be numbers “50% higher close rates on our leads than our competitors”. It could also be a quality that addresses an issue your customers have: “Get local leads without [common problem with local leads]”.

    Reply
Bill - May 18, 2014

Great advice! Focus is something my website lacks in a huge way… I will try to zero in on one specific area.

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Michel - May 18, 2014

I am currently working on a new business idea. The current core message is: “How to excel with your online business, using WordPress”. The idea behind is to create a learning platform, where WordPress users can learn how to take full advantage of WordPress focused on the business perspective. A lot of learning platforms just focus on the technical aspect on how to set up WordPress. But my idea would be to go further with things like: How to setup a sales funnel, how to do A/B conversion testing, How to create a membership site etc using WordPress.
Currently I am in the phase of validation, meaning, I create some sample content and sell it to already interested people. But so early on I am still open to specify that even more, if needed.

Reply
    Shane - May 18, 2014

    Hi Michel,

    The issue there is that “online business” is too broad. Focusing specifically on WordPress is good, but it would still benefit you to be more specific. I’d try to drill down in one of two ways:

    A) Be more specific in your offer. E.g. focusing on e-commerce specifically instead of all online business purposes.

    B) Target the audience more specifically. E.g. selling it specifically to single moms, or retired baby boomers or college graduates who can’t find a job… something like that.

    Reply
      Michel - June 28, 2014

      Hey Shane
      Thanks a lot for your feedback. I am still fighting with getting more specific. Currently that is the message: http://wplimitless.com/variant4.png (Targeting: Business owners, using WordPress and that are beginners (“No more Guesswork..”) and into Marketing…

      Reply
      Shane - June 28, 2014

      Hi Michel,

      First of all, design wise that’s quite nice. A good emphasis on the big headline and a good use of text (a mistake too commonly made is to over-emphasize images instead of text). I think the phrase “no more guesswork” might be one that connects with people. Specifically, people who identify “too much guesswork” as one of their main grievances and I think this is a phrase that is commonly used.

      I think “grow your business” and “simple marketing strategies” are too generic. Also, there’s no “this is for you” part in the message. It’s not always necessary, but addressing a specific group of people is usually very effective (e.g. “the fat-loss program for stay-at-home moms“).

      Reply
Andrew Speers - May 18, 2014

I read your post and went away to my site and did some pruning . I really secretly new it was too broad and now I am into marketing linking and all things viral . Giving to give to get and connection . I am not particularly monetized but could handle it of course . My how the comments have grown first there were none . Thanks for you advice

Reply
    Shane - May 19, 2014

    Thanks for your reply, Andrew! Glad to hear you could put the advice into action right away. :)

    Reply
Brian - May 18, 2014

Hi Shane,

You used IMImpact as an example where you initially had a general focus. And I understand the point you were making. However, you have been increasingly successful over time, and I would argue that is because you have successfully moved from specific focus to the next specific focus.

So even though, by itself, IMImpact has covered many concepts and interests – those of us who joined you in this journey did so for the specific focus you were in at the time. In my case, it was because of the specific choice you made to be a “consumer advocate” – giving spectacularly honest reviews for instance. It was a breath of fresh air to read your stuff.

So – as with probably any business growth – you have created an organic pulse of focus, generalize to explore and experiment, focus again, generalize to explore and experiment some more, focus, etc.

So I agree with your point and I have seen you live and implement it. And I appreciate how you call out these principles in a thoughtful way. That is why I not only purchase your excellent products but I also watch you as a mentor.

Thanks so much – Brian

Reply
    Shane - May 19, 2014

    Thanks for your comment, Brian!

    You’re right, I’ve managed to find some focus or other in spite of my crappy brand name. :)

    Reply
Marco - May 18, 2014

My focus is teaching brand positioning to small business.

I have done it with some success in my country (Italy) and now I am considering expanding it to the English speaking market.

I liked Shane’s video because, while knowing and teaching these concepts, I have been guilty myself of the generalization creep. It’s too easy to “make it larger” and still justify it will work. It doesn’t.

I have one question for Shane: when broadening your offer to other areas, are you considering creating new brands and “recommending” those brands with your core focused one? In my view it should still be more effective that just using your current credibility to work in related areas.

What do you think?

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    Shane - May 19, 2014

    Thanks for your comment, Marco. “Generalization creep” is a great expression!

    I’ve been thinking about your question and I think there isn’t one right answer for this. One factor is definitely about how closely related the topics are. If I have a blog about product marketing, I can expand to include traffic generation on the same site, because those topics are very closely related. However, if I have a blog about marketing and I want to expand to lifestyle and personal development, it makes much more sense to create separate sites. There’s a lot of overlap in the audiences between personal development and online marketing, but the topics are just too far apart.

    Another factor is about time and investment. If the market is big enough and I can make the necessary investments, then branching off with a new brand and new site is a good option, especially if I want to create a whole product line on the new topic.
    If I don’t branch off and keep everything under the same brand, I can get away with investing a lot less in the new topic.

    To give you an example of what I mean: one of the nice things about the Thrive Themes brand is that we can develop smaller projects that have some potential, but don’t work as well as separate brands. One of the plugins we’re working on is for building knowledgebase content. I wouldn’t want to invest in this as a separate brand, with it’s own website, own content marketing strategy, own support desk etc. The market for it doesn’t really warrant that, either. But by having this plugin under the Thrive Themes brand, we can market it using the main brand’s momentum and we can add a couple of posts about it to the main blog, create a nice landing page for it and then move on to other projects. On its own, it would look a bit weak, but as part of a bigger brand and bigger offering, it works perfectly.

    In short: I think there are a lot of factors to take into consideration and I’d make this decision on a case by case basis.

    Reply
      Marco - May 19, 2014

      Shane, you are right, it makes sense to “stretch” the brand potential for small online projects. On the other hand, I think that on the web there is a need to be first (in the mind) or it is too late.

      It’s what I call the “leader only” strategy. On the web there is no space for a follower or a third brand.

      But for small online projects/opportunities, this is not necessary and I think your strategy makes sense.

      Reply
      Shane - May 19, 2014

      Good point. That’s what I love about coming up with a good USP: even in a crowded market, you can position your offer as the first and only of its kind. :)

      Reply
Ben - May 18, 2014

Hi Shane, thanks for that… I needed it.

I’m opening a marketing related blog soon and really what the theme is: how to build sales funnel in order to market to the “new costumer”.

And there is some advanced stuff I want to talk about buy I feel I need to get the basics out of the way first… What do you say?

P.S. “the new costumer” is a term I’m looking to be recognized with and it means the costumes who are constantly looking for stuff online, skeptical, busy and troubled.

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    Shane - May 19, 2014

    Hi Ben,

    I think the idea is good and there’s a good amount of specificity to it. The problem is with terminology. “New customer” already has a meaning: it’s a first-time buyer for a specific company or brand (as opposed to a returning customer). You won’t be able to replace that term in people’s minds, so you have to change it. You have to find a term that isn’t occupied yet. Something like “21st century buyer”… but more catchy than that. :)

    If you can define who this new kind of customer is and set out the issues they pose for your target market in a relateable way, I think this could be a good brand. It’s very important that your target market can recognize what you’re talking about. If you can make a connection between pain points or problems they are experiencing and this new type of customer, you’ll have their attention.

    Reply
Chirag - May 19, 2014

All-in-one job management software for service businesses

Thoughts Shane?

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    Shane - May 19, 2014

    Hi Chirag,

    Hmmm… doesn’t strike me as catchy enough. “For service businesses” could be a lot more specific. But I think the bigger issue here is the lack of a benefit statement. You’re telling me what your thing is, but not why I should care.

    Reply
chad - May 19, 2014

Shane I agree with you to some level but then how do you explain below?

1) Most gurus are known with positioning themselves broadly and targeting not too specific niches. Brendon Burchard, Eben Pagan, Dan Kennedy, etc are all known with somewhat broad niches(online business, marketing, etc.). I agree that specific is good when marketing a specific product, but do you think it still applies when it comes to positioning your business as well?

2) What if the broad topic and market is not saturated at all? Do you still recommend drilling down and positioning your business in a very specific way? For example; online business might be too broad for the English market, however what if it’s rarely targeted in a non-english market? Don’t you think it’d be a good idea to take advantage of the wide open market and dominate the so called “broad” topic?

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    Shane - May 19, 2014

    I’m not sure I can agree with your first point. Eben Pagan was mainly known as the product creation/product marketing guy when I was still paying attention to him. Dan Kennedy was known as a copywriting guy first and foremost, if I recall correctly. Brendon Burchard… isn’t he the personal branding for speakers/authors/experts guy?

    I don’t keep up with the gurus, so maybe I got these wrong. But my impression is that none of them started out as the “everything about marketing” guy.

    Concerning your second point: yes, this can be a real opportunity in an unsaturated market. Even there, some degree of specificity will help you, but if there’s a chance for you to create something like the leading site about online marketing (because that’s not occupied yet), then that’s an opportunity worth grabbing.

    Reply
lala - May 19, 2014

Thanks Shane, I am starting a make money online part-time blog and I am not really sure how to make it more specific. I see the value though. It will mainly be for people that already work fulltime with the hopes of replacing that income and having the freedom blah blah.. same story as everything else. I considered making it for people that DONT want to leave their job, but that isn’t me so I would feel weird about making the blog about an audience that I cannot relate with. Am i rambling now? Any insight could help. Should i just focus on affiliate marketing, just list building, just clickbank? Is that what you mean?

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    Shane - May 19, 2014

    There are generally two ways in which you can narrow your focus: by making the topic or the target audience more specific.

    You’ve given examples of both. Something like “building a second income stream next to your full time job” is targeting the audience (people who are working and want new income streams). Something like “list building” is narrowing the focus via the topic itself.

    I definitely recommend you do one or both. Online marketing is a vast topic. There are hundreds of sub-topics within this and you probably don’t want to pursue or write about all of them. From e-commerce to self-publishing to various ad publishing and inventory selling methods, there must be some that appeal more to you than others. I recommend that you narrow in on one or a small related group of them and make that part of your brand.

    Reply
Ron - May 19, 2014

Shane – thanks for the video! I agree with the premise that razor sharp focus is needed. My website is focused on Christian leaders in the marketplace, but the first product I am considering is directed to senior executives:

“Ideal Traits of a Christian Chief Executive”

Any thoughts?

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    Shane - May 19, 2014

    “Christian Chief Executive” is very specific. I don’t think there’d be anything to gain from going narrower than that. However, what’s missing here is a benefit statement. You’re answering the questions “what?” (ideal traits) and “who?” (christian chief executive), but what’s missing is the answer to the question “why?”

    In other words: why should someone take this course? How does having these ideal traits actually help them?

    Reply
Cornelia - May 19, 2014

Hi Shane, another great video of yours :-)
I produce+sell:
beautiful scenery indoor cycling training video tours. Explore exciting new landscapes as if you were on a real bicycle tour while working out on your stationary bike or turbo trainer.
I’m still developing the product and think I will have to narrow the target group down. What do you think (about the message)?

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    Shane - May 19, 2014

    Thanks for your reply, Cornelia!

    Indoor cycling video tours is quite specific already. Further targeting could definitely be done depending on the type of content in the videos. E.g. leisurely, relaxing tours vs. hardcore training and motivation for more ambitious cyclists.

    What’s really important here is that you explain the benefits of using your videos. I assume you’re not the only provider of such videos. What makes yours better than others? Why should I buy from you and not the competition? I think there’s potential for you to arrive at a more specific and more attractive statement, by digging down into the benefits of your offer.

    Reply
Tomas Michaud - May 19, 2014

Rumba Flamenco Guitar Lessons For Grownups

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    Shane - May 19, 2014

    Hi Tomas,

    “Rumba Flamenco Guitar Lessons” is very specific. I’m not sure about the “for Grownups” part. Do also have courses for kids and/or teens? In that context, it would make sense: your customer can choose the package that fits their age group. This would be a better offer than having a one size fits all course.

    Reply
Melanie Hay - May 19, 2014

Hi Shane,
I’m a new subscriber & don’t usually leave comments on posts or blogs, but your video post really struck a cord & inspired me to give this a try!

The core message & purpose of my business is : to inspire women to look beautiful & feel confident everyday with timeless, elegant, limited edition hand crafted Silver Jewellery.

Look forward to hearing your feedback.

Reply
    Shane - May 19, 2014

    Hello Melaine,

    Thanks for your comment!

    Jewelry is tricky, because it’s very “implication heavy”. It’s one of those markets where values are often not said out loud, but rather implied. Your “inspire women to look beautiful & feel confident everyday” statement is kind of specific, but also lacks oomph.

    As you can imagine, I don’t know anything about jewelry. Since I can’t give advice directly, here are the questions I’d ask to try and get to a more attractive statement.

    1) Why do you buy jewelry? When you’re looking at jewelry items, what do you think about when comparing pieces? What makes you decide to purchase one over the other?

    2) When you’re wearing a new piece or new set of jewelry, how do you hope people will react to seeing you? What do you wish people would say when they notice you wearing it? And are those people male or female?

    3) Think about jewelry that is too high-end for you to afford. Something that you longingly look at and wish you could have, but that’s just way too expensive. What makes you want it? What about it, apart from the high price and expensive materials, makes it highly desirable?

    Reply
      Melanie Hay - May 22, 2014

      Thanks for your reply Shane.

      I totally agree that ‘jewellery’ is implication heavy & that my business statement lacks oomph!

      Your questions have definitely got me thinking & brain storming outside the square though – much appreciated :)

      Reply
      Shane - May 23, 2014

      You’re very welcome, Melanie. :)

      Reply
Rafael - May 19, 2014

My website is under construction with Thrive Themes. I am an ordained priest, moving to do Spiritual Readings, One on One mentoring and workshops. My mine focus now is to look for ways to convey my message about the readings in a way that is palatable.

I am building the website as a subdomain of bishoprafael.com Thanks for any comment you might have.

Lots of Light and success in your daily life!

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    Shane - May 19, 2014

    I think the most important point here is to connect the service you are offering with the benefits your clients can get from it. A statement can often be made more specific and more attractive by including why your target prospect should care about the service you’re offering.

    Reply
chris - May 19, 2014

Shane- I always find your work to be classy, intelligent, helpful. thank you.

I also have products and subscription for music instructional content. The “Creative Strings” product line is for improvising string players…

thanks chris

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    Shane - May 19, 2014

    Hello Christian,

    I might be under-qualified to comment on this, because I don’t know anything about music. “Improvising string players” seems quite broad to me. In what context would a string player be improvising? Or in other words: how would this newly acquired improvising skill be put into practice?

    Reply
Bill H. - May 19, 2014

Helping the baby boom generation get healthy and stay healthy. Exercise programs geared for older people, since most programs out there are far to strenuous for older folks.

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    Shane - May 19, 2014

    I didn’t think I’d say this but… this offer might actually be specific enough. :)

    In your statement, you are targeting a specific age group and you’re providing a reason why your offer is better than competing offers, for this group. Works for me.

    Reply
Debra - May 19, 2014

Target audience:

Young women in their early 30’s, married, with young children
Using the Paleo diet to heal from autoimmune and chronic diseases
Wanting to grow some of their own organic fruits and vegetables
Vegetable gardening experience: 0-5 years
Location: eastern U.S. – including northeast, mid-west, mid-Atlantic, and upper southern state

Service provided:

A step-by-step online course on how to grow abundant organic food all year-round in a small garden. Benefits include learning how to:

* Produce more food with a lot less effort and time
* Maximize your harvest from a limited space
* Enjoy fresh, home-grown vegetables all year-round
* Harvest sweet, juicy fruit from a tiny yard
* Save hundreds of dollars on your grocery bill
* Grow nutrient-dense, organic food free from pesticides

So,… too narrow? :)

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    Shane - May 19, 2014

    No, that’s not too narrow at all. Although I don’t have anything to add, either. This level of specificity and this kind of list of traits and benefits is exactly what I usually work towards.

    Reply
Rudolf - May 19, 2014

Hi Shane,
I helped my daughter to set up her site http://CharlestonLifestyleGuide and now at the beginning of setting up my own website. It is in German language and the tag line is “Mit Video erfolgreicher im Online Marketing – Für Selbständige und Dienstleister”. I guess I have to narrow/restrict it further down but I don’t know exactly in what direction. I plan to put on content soon, promote it via ppc and Facebook advertisement and see what kind of feedback I will get and go from there. What’s your thoughts on that, Shane?

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    Shane - May 19, 2014

    I think the part that should be more specific is the “online marketing” one. I’d focus on a benefit.

    For example, I think a statement like “more traffic with videos” or “higher conversion with videos” is much more attractive than “online marketing success with videos”.

    Reply
Chris Hallett - May 19, 2014

Shane,

A great topic and one I struggled with.

I help Coaches, trainers & consultants launch their expertise online, by developing a 6 Figure MindSet to create a 6 Figure Business and enjoy a 6 Figure Lifestyle.

That means 5 steps:

1) Creating the Vision (of where they are heading)
2) Developing their Customer Journey
3) Creating A Technology Business Blueprint
4) Creating a client engagement plan
5) Mastering the Mindset

Be great to get your feedback>

Chris

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    Shane - May 19, 2014

    I think you’re trying to cram too much into this. I’m also not sure about the mindset thing.

    I see that you want to help these people earn 6 figures. That’s nice and specific. Now the question is: out of everything you teach, what’s the most important part? What is the very core of what you do, that will help your clients reach the 6 figure goal?

    Also, I cringed a bit at this part “launch their expertise online”. See the “Sub-Optimal Implementation of Terminology” part in this post. :)

    Reply
      Chris Hallett - May 19, 2014

      Shane,

      Ok I get the “Sub-Optimal Implementation of Terminology” – these steps cam about from a real need where coaches were struggling with the technology and process of launching their programmes on-line.

      The Mindset piece is actually another area and (probably wrongly I’ve lumped them together).

      The real crux of these 5 steps is to convert a prospect in a VIP client (and the steps need to do so

      Hope that’s clearer

      Chris

      Reply
      Shane - May 19, 2014

      “convert a prospect in a VIP client” – while the wording is still not perfect, that’s the most interesting thing you’ve written so far. To me, at least.

      In your first comment, I didn’t get this aha-moment that the above sentence gives me. I think it would be good if you expanded on this and maybe tried to craft a core message around it.

      Reply
Jim Beasley - May 19, 2014

Shane, I love your work (and software)! I’m trying to attract the attention of client companies with two facts: we share 35% of the revenue generated in fees (unique in my industry) AND we offer a banking alternative, via one of those company clients, for people who have never had a bank account (i.e. we can provide them with an e-Wallet and a prepaid debit card) As you elucidate so expertly it is easy to want to cram all of the other features I want to…………..and I think this is my (our ) downfall at the moment. Thanks for such great material.

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    Shane - May 19, 2014

    One or two really strong benefits beat out a feature list of any length. Feature lists are nice and all, but people won’t read them until you’ve already won them over with something else.

    Reply
Dean - May 19, 2014

My focus is teaching skinny guys how to build muscle through unconventional muscle building tactics without eating 24/7, following fitness magazine advice and using long workouts (as most of what they teach isn’t for skinny guys)

Is this too narrow Shane?

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    Dean - May 19, 2014

    I know this was more based around a “product offer” but I’m sure blog/website topic fits in here too (I hope)

    Thanks for the awesome stuff Shane!

    Reply
    Shane - May 19, 2014

    That’s not too narrow, no. The elevator pitch could be a bit sexier, though.

    Focusing on skinny, ectomorph types is a good idea. Using the “what you read in fitness mags is rubbish” angle is also a good move (not least because it’s true). One problem you face in the fitness space is that everyone promises shortcuts and tricks, so that alone won’t get you a lot of attention. Is there any other hook to your offer? Anything that would make me pause at yours, if I’m flipping through dozens of fitness sites?

    Reply
Mary - May 19, 2014

Hi Shane! GREAT point in today’s video, I’ll probably have to write that down in my forehead as I too keep forgetting about it. So I’m gonna do as others and post my stuff here. I hope I’m not too late for a little feedback ;)

I own a general fitness blog that promotes healthy eating as a lifestyle (as opposed to rapid weight-loss) for people who want to lose weight in a healthy way. It is pretty broad since it’s the blog, I see it like my main entrance. From there I promote different things, including affiliate offers and my own products (all weight loss and healthy eating).

My main product tho is the one I’m putting all my hopes in. I define it like this:

TNC is the first online nutrition coaching program specifically designed for the hispanic audience around the world.

In this 12-week program I help Spanish-speaking people transform their lives by coaching them into a healthier eating and lifestyle. It is for people who want to lose weight the healthy way (no fad diets, no gimmicks, no pills). They’re not in a hurry and they’re looking for a definitive lifestyle change.

I could actually describe these people more, but I see right now that can’t do it within a concise phrase! I never noticed this before… so thank you already :)

Ok, I’ll leave it here. Any suggestions?

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    Shane - May 19, 2014

    Well, I didn’t see that coming. I think it’s a very interesting way to target this offer, going specifically for a hispanic audience. Is there a cultural aspect to this, or what makes your course perfect for hispanic people?

    “transform their lives by coaching them into a healthier eating and lifestyle” doesn’t work for me. I think you should lead with the weight loss thing. You have two main benefits here. I’d put the weight loss part in the spotlight and frame the healthy lifestyle as a nice bonus. It’s a mistake to try and give everything the same amount of emphasis, which it looks like you’re trying to do here.

    Something someone told me comes to mind: you give people what they want and then you can sneak in some of what they need, as well.
    Meaning: losing weight is a more attractive prospect than the long term healthy thing (for most people, anyway). So get their attention with the weight loss and once you have their attention, you can give them the healthy lifestyle as a side benefit.

    Reply
Des - May 20, 2014

Shane, thanks for starting this conversation and offering your feedback.
Several years ago when I became serious about an online business, I strayed from my core business and created a site about using skills and knowledge to generate an additional income, or even to transition to an online business. I used this as a way to learn, to source information, to build an audience (not so successful I might add!).

So, I thought long and hard about how I would present this site, and here’s what I came up with.

Think it, write it, sell it! Creative ideas … rewarding results. Where your knowledge becomes your business.

I’m still nurturing this site, but I’m back to my core business, which is very different from that first foray into an online business. The problem I have with that first site is traffic, and one day I’ll have to get cracking on that issue.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

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    Shane - May 23, 2014

    Hello Des,

    Your idea could stand to be A LOT more specific.

    Think about it like this: who are you excluding? The only thing I need to “qualify” for what you’re offering is to at least once have had an idea that I deemed creative.

    If you aren’t excluding many people, the offer isn’t specific enough. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that if you aren’t excluding almost everyone, the offer isn’t specific enough.

    I suspect there may be more to your idea, but it’s not coming across in your elevator pitch. Try to be a lot clearer about who your offer is for and who it ISN’T for.

    Reply
      Des - May 26, 2014

      Shane, thanks for your reply. Yes, I can see your point. My target audience is not those who want to “make money online”, far be it, but to those whose experiences and skills can change the course of people’s lives, and I’m talking about how e all live and what impact we have on finite resources. This message seems to rise and fall in opposite amplitude to the incessant political and economic humdrum that we’re all subjected to.

      In a nutshell, my focus is about sustainable living systems, integrated with a work-at-home environment.

      People who want to educate their local community about alternative actions, be aware of their environment and take action to change it for the better, practice sustainable living, persuade others by way of example and through creative discussion (isn’t that what you’re offering?) … these are the pillars of my pitch. There’s a lot within these that I’ve already focused on in my other online projects.

      Thanks again for the “reinforcement” of my pitch.

      Reply
Marco - May 20, 2014

Maybe you can use what the Brand Positioning statement formula that I use:

… is …
that …

Differently from competitors that …
we …
and this for the customer means …

It is simple and effective to help you “stay on course” in all your communications.

The differentiating idea is what makes you different from competitors (it has to be relevant for your clients).
Being a specialist of any sort is always a great and simple differentiating idea.

As I said, you can download for free my Brand Positioning course by clicking on my name. I am giving it away for free to get feedbacks.

P.S. Thanks for Shane for this opportunity.

Marco

Reply
Marco - May 20, 2014

Unfortunately the Brand Positioning statement formula had special characters that didn’t work.

Here is the formula without special characters:

BRAND NAME is WHAT IT IS (CATEGORY OR MARKET)
that DIFFERENTIATING IDEA.
Differently from competitors that WHAT COMPETITORS DO
we WHAT WE DO DIFFERENTLY
and this for the customer means ADVANTAGES OF OUR OFFER.

Reply
Laura - May 25, 2014

Hi Shane,
Thanks for your video – very inspiring. I agree about narrowing and focus.

I have a challenge. I’m in the biz of self-knowledge and self-development, which I find essential for a fulfilling life.

Yet it has such an abstract, woolly, unsexy imago, and I struggle with finding an ‘oomphy’ description to what I do: I help people (who want to take a next step in their life, or people who want to feel stronger inside) to build a strong inner foundation by helping them to define their true core values (and then express it) When they align to those values, it makes them to feel secure, because they have a strong inner guidance, and therefore a strong inner foundation from where they can expand (their business, relationships, life) safely, with trust and confidence.

How do I translate it in a ‘normal’ language, so that self-knowledge becomes a sexy activity to do?

Your suggestion to make more landing pages – one for people who want to take a next step, and another for people who want to feel stronger inside, is an eye opener for me. I was putting it all together, which doesn’t work.

Thanks a lot!

Laura

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    Shane - June 16, 2014

    Hello Laura,

    I see what you mean, yes. :)

    One way to get to a better message is this: imagine your ideal customer. It helps if you have a very clear and specific idea about who this person is.

    Now, take one of your statements (e.g. “I help people build a strong inner foundation”) and imagine your ideal customer signed up after seeing this statement.

    Now ask yourself: what’s the hidden reason why they signed up? Sure, on the surface and if you ask them, they will say it’s because they want a strong inner foundation. But what does it mean to them?
    What specific incidents in their lives do they secretly wish to resolve, once they have a strong inner foundation?

    Also, “take the next step in life” is waaaaaaaay to vague. The “next step” in life could literally be anything a person does. Maybe the next step in my life is ordering a pizza, but that’s probably not what you’re talking about here.

    Make a list of the top 5 next steps that would make someone your ideal customer. Then find the most specific aspects that those 5 things have in common and replace “next step” with that.

    Or don’t. And just create 5 different messages for 5 different, very specific next steps.

    Reply
      Laura - June 16, 2014

      Hi Shane,

      I very much appreciate that you take time to respond (to all of us; it really is very inspiring).

      Thanks for your suggestions, they are very helpful. They also sound so logical, why didn’t I come up with it myself :)

      Thanks again! Laura

      Reply
Joe Garma (@joegarma) - May 26, 2014

Haven’t a clue what my core message is, Shane, but give me a break — have only been blogging for five years!

Yeah, seriously.

-Joe

Reply
    Shane - June 16, 2014

    Hi Joe,

    You’re not alone in that, trust me. There are countless blogs, websites and even large companies who don’t have a clue what their core message is.

    Reply
Byron - May 26, 2014

Hi Shane, I’m new to your blog. I love your approach and practical knowledge (I just purchased your content plugin). Here’s what I do (Note: This is what I am becoming. I’m a career coach that has become a huge advocate of lifestyles businesses so much that I have changed my own business model and focus. your feedback is certainly welcomed):

I help people get clear about their passions and craft lifestyle businesses they love online!

Reply
    Shane - June 16, 2014

    Hello Byron,

    Thanks for your comment!

    I can see how your message is trying to be clear and specific, but I think it falls short mainly because of two terms: “passions” and “lifestyle business”. Both terms are a bit over-used and can mean a lot of different things to a lot of people.

    Also, I fear that your message easily goes lost in a huge amount of offerings along the line of “helping you build a business you’re passionate about”.

    Take a look at the process you teach or walk people through: what’s the most impactful part of that process? What’s your best trick, the thing that leads to the most aha-moments or the thing that amazes your customers the most? Maybe build a message around that part of what you do.

    Remember: you don’t have to advertise EVERYTHING you do. You only have to advertise the best part well enough for people to become customers.

    Reply
Joe - June 3, 2014

Hi Shane, I’ve just found your site and videos today and find your knowledge about how to get more traffic most practical.

I offer spiritual mentoring, guiding people who have just ‘woken’ up and whom may be needing assistance with understanding the new world they find themselves in. It is not religious but has more of a ‘new age’ kind of spirituality approach, about healing past wounds and energy healing.

With more and more people waking up I feel that I can help them by sharing my experiences so I want to try and reach as many people as I can through my offered services as well as through my articles and poetry.

Any advice on how to increase the traffic? Thanks Shane and nice work with the video and the site!

Cheers
Joe

Reply
    Shane - June 16, 2014

    Thank you, Joe!

    I’m really not a mass traffic kind of person at all. As I’ve stated elsewhere, if you saw my traffic stats, you probably wouldn’t be particularly impressed. Where my business excels is in attracting the right kind of people, which translates to an extremely high $-value per visitor.

    Having said that, the best advice I have about traffic at the moment is in this video.

    Reply
linda - December 16, 2014

My business helps you to look younger for longer naturally, by showing you how to effectively exercise your face to improve muscle definition, smooth skin and reduce wrinkles and frown lines.
So your reflection is a more youthful and healthy looking you!

Reply
    Shane - December 17, 2014

    Hi Linda,

    That’s good. I don’t think this can be improved by making it more specific, so what I’d test next is emphasizing different parts of your offer and using different wording. For example, do people respond better if you emphasize that it’s an anti-aging face workout or does an emphasis on the fact that it’s natural and doesn’t involve creams and chemicals lead to better results?

    Reply

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